Consumers have just started to grasp the reality of their holiday shopping sprees, according to the creators of the "Pay as You Settle" credit card debt resolution system. In a statement to reporters, officials from Prestige Financial Solutions cited the anxiety caused when Americans open up the first few credit card statements after year-end gift spending. Company founder Amy Thompson advises consumers to follow three steps to stay aware of their financial situation:
- Gather all credit card statements and other bills into a single place and tally up the exact amount of total household debt.
- Subtract a list of monthly household expenses from take-home pay, then figure out how much of the remaining amount can pay down credit card balances.
- Consult with a reputable, trusted debt advisor or financial planner to review long-term options, such as credit card counseling, consolidation loans or debt settlement programs.
Thompson emphasized the need to review the backgrounds of potential financial advisors, especially in light of recent Federal Trade Commission investigations into fly-by-night credit card debt settlement companies.